Bill Williams, Glory Foods President and Co-Founder Leaves Lasting Legacy

Jan 08, 2002, 00:00 ET from Glory Foods, Inc.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- On January 3, 2002, family,
 friends, business associates, and community leaders gathered at a memorial
 service to honor the legacy of William F. (Bill) Williams, President and co-
 founder of Glory Foods, Inc.  Williams died suddenly of a heart attack on
 December 27 at the age of 57.
     Williams was a highly respected businessman, community leader and
 restaurateur in the Columbus, Ohio, area who parlayed his love and passion for
 Southern foods to develop Glory Foods, Inc., a company that markets and
 distributes conveniently prepared canned and fresh vegetables and frozen
 family meals inspired by Southern recipes.  In 1989, seasoned collard greens
 in a can seemed unimaginable to many, but for co-founders Williams, Dan Charna
 and Iris Cooper, it was an idea whose time had come.  Today, Glory Foods
 distributes a full-line of seasoned canned vegetables, frozen entrees and side
 dishes to over 140 supermarket chains throughout the country.  In the past
 year, Williams and his staff were busy developing and introducing new
 products, creating new packaging designs and introducing an in-house Fresh
 Produce Division to market premium selections of Fresh-Cut, Washed and Ready-
 to-Cook Packaged Greens and Fresh Cut, Washed and Ready-to Cook Packaged Sweet
     Williams had the foresight to build a company that would withstand time,
 and as Glory Foods approaches its 10-year anniversary in July 2002, the
 company is strategically positioned to go forth with his vision.  Williams
 leaves Glory Foods well capitalized, financially stable and strategically
 positioned for continued growth.  "We are a company built on excellence and
 constant attention to detail and perfection," said Dan Charna, co-founder.
 "This is the foundation Bill Williams established early in the company and
 continues to manifest and grow in all of us who must carry forth his vision.
 We will continue to maintain the integrity and commitment he inspired in all
 of us to work with communities and educational institutions to create a
 stronger fabric for the growth and development of society.  Bill leaves us a
 legacy of excellent customer service and hard work.  We will continue his
 dream," adds Charna.
     Bill Williams Leaves Lasting Legacy
     Williams was a well-known and sought after expert on Southern cooking who
 learned his trade early working at a local Columbus restaurant.  The owner,
 impressed by his interest in recipes and food preparation, became his mentor
 and encouraged him to apply for admission to the Culinary Institute of America
 in Hyde Park, New York, where he joined a select group of African-Americans
 admitted to the school.  When he graduated, he was a certified Chef.  He later
 obtained a bachelor's degree in hotel and restaurant management from the
 University of Massachusetts and worked for a number of hotel chains as a Food
 and Beverage Manager.
     In 1982, Williams and his wife Elizabeth opened the Marble Gang Restaurant
 in Columbus and nurtured it into the premiere soul food eatery on the East
 Side of Columbus.  Williams sold the restaurant in 1997.
     Williams was an entrepreneur who understood the importance of reaching
 back so that others may move forward, and he leaves a legacy of outstanding
 community service and educational achievement.  Glory Foods' excellence in
 fostering community and corporate partnerships earned the company the
 prestigious Council on Economic Priorities, "Corporate Conscience Pioneer
 Award for Community Partnerships" in 1998; the 1999 Social Compact "New Face
 of Leadership Award," and, The Ron Brown Award for "Corporate Leadership" in
 2000.  Black Enterprise Magazine awarded Glory Foods the "Emerging Company of
 the Year Award" in 1996 for excellence in niche marketing.
     Williams' support of educational programs was largely attributed to
 enhancing minority representation in the food and beverage industry.  He was a
 tireless advocate whose personal commitment manifested into scholarship awards
 and partnerships with organizations and universities to encourage
 participation and exposure.  As co-chair of Ohio State University's College of
 Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences he was committed to raising
 $7 million in endowments for minority students seeking degrees in Agri-
 business.  He also helped to develop a Minority Produce Business Development
 Program (MPBDP) in tandem with the United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association
 to provide developmental support and training for minority farmers.  His
 ongoing support of the black farming community opened up avenues for
 groundbreaking discussions and programs that helped to strengthen the farmers'
 presence and value in the food industry.
     Bill Williams' legacy is one that will endure and continue to enhance the
 quality of life for many.
     Family members request that memorial gifts to Williams be made in the form
 of contributions to the American Heart Association or the Kidney Foundation.

SOURCE Glory Foods, Inc.